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A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel Hardcover – January 25, 2012
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A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past--and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.
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The chapters in Joshilyn Jackson's A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty alternate between the three Slocumb women. Each woman has a distinct voice in her chapter and there is strong character development for each woman individually. What they are thinking can be very different from what they are sharing with each other, especially since Liza is essentially nonverbal, but each of them is facing the threat to their family and the questions the mystery brings head-on, in their own way.
Why, oh why, did I wait so long to read A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty? This is an outstanding novel by a most accomplished writer. I've enjoyed every book Jackson has written and this incredible novel is no exception. The multilayered plot is complex and I appreciate how additional information was slowly discovered. And I completely understood Big hiding her suspicions from Mosely while Mosely is doing the same. I was absolutely spellbound and immersed in this novel. You couldn't have torn me away from reading it. And when I finished reading, I knew that I had just read something splendid, flawless, sublime... and perfect. When I was done there was not one thing I would have wanted differently. Bravo, Joshilyn Jackson!
Jackson has a new novel being released this November, Someone Else's Love Story, and I am going to just preorder it now and schedule time to read it right away.
Very Highly Recommended - one of the very best
Naturally, with such a legacy, Mosey has grown up somewhat paranoid. With everyone in her small Southern town expecting her to follow in her mother and grandmother's footsteps, Mosey - who is not sexually active -regularly takes pregnancy tests, "just to be sure." She's afraid to tell Big or Liza about her best friend Roger, simply because he's a boy and would be mistrusted by them for only that reason.
When Mosey is fifteen, everything does change - but in no way anyone could ever have predicted. For one thing, her mother Liza, only thirty, has a stroke and the once smart-mouthed, independent bartender is rendered almost helpless. Wanting desperately to help her in any possible way, Big decides to cut down the family's beloved old willow tree to make room for a therapeutic swimming pool. It's then that the discovery of a box of infant bones is made, changing everything for the Slocumbs forever. Secrets that were once thought buried forever have come to the light of day, impossible to ignore any longer.
Jackson writes her story alternating between the distinct voices of the three women, depicting three-dimensional characters that are as real as anyone her readers might know. Thus, an intriguing mystery and coming-of-age story is born, hooking readers til the very end.
I really didn't have many expectations of this book, other than it's consistent 5 star ratings on every review site imaginable. I figured it had to be at least decent.
This was an incredibly powerful story. I definitely cried. Not going to lie.
Ginny. Oh Ginny. She is probably the strongest literary character I have ever come across. She is the glue that holds the Slocumb family together when it seems like the world is trying it's hardest to rip them apart.
This book is part chick lit and part mystery with plenty of drama thrown in. It kept me guessing. I thought I had it all figured out (I usually do figure out mysteries way before they are revealed) but I had it completely wrong in this book. Way, way off. Which was an awesome change for me.
I was rooting for all three generations of women to get their happy ending. I was so invested in all three's lives, not one more than another.
The use of southern dialect was enriching, not detracting from the story line.
I didn't really like how the author called Liza's stroke a "brain event".
The fact that they didn't take proper care of Liza until the very end of the book was kind of unsettling.
The Wrap Up: 4.5/5
I really loved this book. I have recommended it to so many people who have loved it just as much as I did. It's the kind of book that you can't put down and can't stop talking about it after you're done.
"Before my mom had her brain event, I never even saw him have a conversation with her face. He talked lower, like her thought her boobs had microphones in them and if he aimed right he could order up a chili-dog combo."